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By Nishtha and Ishan Kukreti
Senior sports journalist Padampati Sharma started his career in the 1970s. Having worked with media organizations such as Hindi Daily Aaj, Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Hindustan, News Nation among others, Sharma, is a known face in the world of Hindi journalism. In an exclusive interview with NewsGram, Sharma talks about his career, sting operations, rotten journalism and how the profession has deteriorated in the last three decades. Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your journey in the field of Sports Journalism, and what impelled you to join it.
Padampati Sharma: When I came into this profession, the situation of sports journalism in India was in a bad state. We didn’t have even one permanent sub-editor, let alone country heads. I had studied English and that had ignited a passion in me. I was well aware of people like K.N Prabhu and M.S Ramaswamy and understood what they wrote. I wanted to be like them, but lack of means served as an impediment. But I did not let that deter me.
I used to listen to Australia Broadcasting Corporation’s commentary at 4 in the morning, and by the lunchtime, I would be ready with a story based on a detailed critical analysis of the radio commentary. Gradually, it began receiving heavy readership and by 1978 I had become the first Hindi Sports Journalist to have covered Cricket spontaneously.
How did you manage to introduce spontaneous coverage of matches?
PS: Earlier, match updates were sent through Telegram, which was a delayed means of communication. People were unaware about Telex (a telecommunications programme) through which immediate coverage was possible. When I was sent to Pakistan, I was told to relax and write the story late at night, after which they’d edit and modify it the next day. But I had a plan in mind. I used Telex to send my story in Roman and it came out at 4:30 PM on the same day.
How did the Editors react to this essential development that you brought about in terms of coverage?
PS: The General Manager saw the story and ran to show it to our boss. Impressed, our boss gave the peon Rs 100 to offer ‘bhog’ at the nearby Bada Ganesha temple. Later, sweets were distributed in the entire office. Next morning, the front page of the newspaper (Hindi Daily Aaj) was seen carrying a byline in the name of special correspondent Padampati Sharma from Faisalabad, and the next line read in brackets, “Today’s special Telex service.”
There was no turning back after that. Day in and day out, detailed coverage and analyses of matches were sent. Taxis would be called at 5:30 in the morning to send newspapers. But no one complained. People were receiving updates of matches that would get over at 4:30 AM (India time), the same day around 7:30 AM. They were happy.
You have levied strong allegations against your former employer, News Nation and another company called, Oxxy International. Can you explain the matter?
PS: Sting operations were conducted on diagnostic centres and labs in July by News Nation. While footage of about 12 to 14 centres was shot, only seven centres were shown on air. On December 18, a girl named Sheetal Kapoor, representative of Oxxy International approached the director of a diagnostic centre and claimed that there is a second part of the sting. She further added that she can get rid of the footage, if the director pays her Rs 36 lakhs. Through this money, the diagnostic centre will receive positive marketing and publicity. But this money will be valid only for six months and this same agreement will be renewed after that. She stressed on the fact that after taking their commission, the company will send the rest of the money to the top management of the news channel.
The police with the help of the doctor laid down a trap for her. On December 23, Sheetal Kapoor visited the diagnostic centre and the doctor gave her a cheque for Rs 6 lakhs. While she was filling the details of the company on the cheque, the police conducted a raid and detained her.
After an FIR was lodged against her, she named three people who were conducting the sting – one person was from a different news channel and the other two were from News Nation.
After her bail plea was rejected by the court, in the second week of January, Hindustan Times and Navbharat Times had published the news about the money extortion and the police’s role.
The case has now been transferred to the crime branch. But neither Sheetal of Oxxy International nor the news channel have been implicated till now.
You have been a journalist for more than three decades now, how do you think journalism as a profession has evolved since the time of independence?
PS: The truth is that currently journalism is at its lowest surface. When I had joined the profession in the late 1970s, it was different. The editors were respected and respectful. The editors used to be like teachers and used to groom the journalists.
To be honest, paid media started developing around the time of India’s independence. Despite being a democratic country, we were following economic policies based on the Soviet pattern. The media was also included in this category. Newspapers who had helped in the freedom struggle were given land by the government to set up their business for nominal rates. The media houses located on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg (New Delhi) have got their lands in the similar manner.
The government has never spoken against the newspaper lobby. Instead, they have given them advertisements, supplements, land for use and newspaper import license among others.
The government has turned a blind eye towards these issues as long as the media does not question their moves. I had joined News Nation on the insistence of Shailesh Kumar (former editor-in-chief and CEO of News Nation) but I was not aware that even he will be asked to leave. My contract was not renewed and several others were asked to leave. But that day, I realized that the news channels are working for money and the TRPs. The ethics of this profession are lost.
Are you aware if any other news channels are indulging in stings and extortion? What can be done to prevent such unethical practices in journalism?
PS: Government intervention is needed at the earliest. I have been informed that these sort of incidents have been taking place in several other news channels. I have heard about money laundering, but this systematic way of obtaining money is shocking.
Journalism is dying. Earlier, we had editors but now we have managers who work on the orders of the owner. There are editors who speak against corruption on news channels while they have themselves indulged in corrupt practices.
Earlier, when stings were conducted to inform people about the corrupt practices in the country. But do you think these stings are motivated for high viewership and the channel’s own vested interests?
PS: I agree that stings should be done in the interest of the country and its people. But the stings today are being conducted for the interest of the news channels. I ask, why stings are being conducted on furniture market or on Snapdeal?
There are such cases where promos are being shown for two days and then those shows are never telecasted. This has been happening repeatedly.
‘Kala Akshaar’, a sting on fake university degrees was never broadcasted. Around 13 universities were involved in the sting. There is an industry for fake degrees where you can purchase a BTech degree for Rs 1.80 lakhs and an MBBS degree for Rs 15-18 lakhs. Eventually, the sting was axed. I am not alleging that money was involved, but I want to know why the sting never made it to television?
Journalism is supposed to be the fourth estate but in India, journalism is turning out to be the weakest profession. I am still hopeful that things will change. I want to see the corruption being wiped out from the media. Either the government steps up or a crusader in the form of an NGO or a journalist tries to make a difference.
At the recently held Lake Fashion Week X Fashion Design Council of India event which took place in Mumbai, actress Soha Ali Khan was muse for Megha Jain Madaan. The festive collection by Madaan for her label Abstract was a luxurious line of creations. Khan dazzled in a sensational, black, will-powered gown with horizontal gold braiding, while the deep olive train added a regal touch. IANSlife caught up with the celebrity on the sideline of the events to discover her take on fashion.
Q: Are you looking forward to on-ground fashion events and the energy that comes with physical shows and appearances?
A: I am I mean, I think that it's been a while that we've all been at home and the livelihood of artisans, designers make-up artist, hairdressers has suffered. Everyone's looking forward to being backed and last but not least me; there's a different energy, of course.
Q: The outfit chosen for you at the show, how does it complement your style?
A: I really think that the outfit complimented my body type because it sort of showed off my arms which are very toned and strong. I've been working on them. So I'm happy that they chose, an off-shoulder outfit. The beautiful train, added length which I require a little bit off. So, I think it was very feminine, and I think the silhouette was a good one for me.
Q: What are your travel essentials?
A: Wetwipes, sanitiser, spare masks and water. I would say a book but I haven't read a book since I've become a mother. I would say iPad, cotton wool for ears, and a lollipop.
"One should reuse their clothes. You don't need to buy new clothes, all the time." said Soha Ali Khan. | Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash
Q: A book, a movie, the gym, or a night out. What is your perfect way to unwind?
A: If you really work out some point in the day, it just helps you to wind down. So I really believe in physical exercise. Well, I love massages and I really enjoy good conversations with good friends.
Q: How do you support sustainable fashion?
A: One should reuse their clothes. You don't need to buy new clothes, all the time. We share clothes, among friends with similar body types, all the time, whether it's children's clothes as well as my clothes. Recycle, you know, if a pair of jeans have started to fray, cut them into shorts, you can also T-Shirts in a number of different ways. So you can recycle, use materials that are good for the planet, don't use plastic and things like this.
Q: What is an experience in your life that you're waiting to have?
A: A goodnight sleep will be great.
(Aryciel originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: feminine,travel,essentials,recycle,clothes,fashion, soha ali khan, bollywood
OṀ SAMPŨRṆABHŨMYAI NAMAH:
OṀ (AUM) - POOR-ṆA-MA-DA-HA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA
ॐ संपूर्णभूम्यै नमः
(Sampūrṇam: Infinite, full, endless)
In Īśa or Īśhavāsyopanishad which belongs to Yajurveda saṃhita, the glory of the divine cosmic soul and the knowledge of the Supreme Self are deliberated. This is also referred to as the Jnāna Kānda. The book starts with an invocation, recited as Mangaḷacharan (the auspicious inception) to sing the glory of the Supreme God 'Oṁ pūrṇamadaha pūrṇamidam, pūrnāt pūrnamudaschyate; pūrṇasya pūrnamādāya pūrṇamevāvashishyate', -meaning that 'Parabrahman' (Supreme divine cosmic soul) is embellished with all qualities tangible and intangible. It is through this Parabrahman that this universe evolved. Because this universe has evolved from the One, the universe is devoid of beginning and is infinite.
This total or complete One, is so significant that even if one literally decides to deduct or remove the cosmos and universe from that complete or total energy, it shall remain constant, i.e., total. Even if this universe does not remain, the divine cosmic energy is devoid of beginning and is infinite. The knowledgeable person that sees God in all creatures and sees all creatures in God becomes happy and experiences incessantly the beauty of God. If we realize God, we get liberated from all the miseries and attachments that continually plague us.
The Vedas are the holy commandments of the gods for mankind. The entire universe or cosmos is pervaded by He who is all pervasive, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and unchanging. Even the gods and sages have not realized Him in reality. The energy the gods possess is just one fragment of the divine cosmic energy. They cannot do anything without divine inspiration and intervention. He is the source of all the contradictory features and natures. Even if He is devoid of birth, He takes birth, even being formless, assumes form; even being devoid of characteristics, assume the nature. He is very far from us, yet, very close to us. The entire world is embellished with this cosmic energy inside out. The person that performs all his duties according to the scriptures and their directives indirectly in reality worships God. Those who work selflessly are not caught in the bondage of actions or karma. There is no way that one can escape the chains of karma.
He, who is always absorbed in the divine cosmic energy, attains the blissful state. He gradually loses the self and merges into the divine cosmic energy.
The land and its Vedic scriptures which taught us about the total cosmic energy is 'Sampūrṇa Bhūmi'.
Keywords: Vedas, Endless, Infinite, Complete
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. With the baby keeping you busy all day and night, your skincare takes a backseat. It's not always changes in skin texture and looks post-pregnancy are a bad thing, but not taking care of your skin may lead to acne, melasma, stretch marks, puffy eyes, and even dark circles. Syed Nazim, Dermatologist, Aesthetic and Hair Transplant Surgeon, Royal Lush Skin Clinic Saket, New Delhi, shares simple and easy tips for you to follow, to get a glowing post-pregnancy.
* Cleansing: As you sleep, your skin goes through a renewal cycle, by dispensing toxins and debris. So you only need a light-textured cleanser to wash your face with a face wash that is suitable for your skin type.
* Steam: Take steam for 2-3 days a week, it will help you to open up your clogged pores.
* Scrub & face pack: Use a face scrub, to remove the dead skin cells, scrub your face for like 5 minutes and wash it with normal tap water. It will help you to make your skin softer and radiant, leave the mask until it dries off.
* Toner & moisturizer: Apply toner to your face, look for clarifying toners that rebalance your pH to maintain the pH value of your skin. In the end, you only have to moisturize your face, to give hydration.
* Steal baby products: Baby products are always mild in nature so that the baby's sensitive skin doesn't have to compromise. They are created to lock moisture in babies skin. So, you can also use them. Whether it's a body oil, lotion or cream, apply some on your skin every time you're applying them on your baby. If you do this, you can flaunt your skin, this way, you don't have to dedicate a specific time every day for your skincare.
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. | Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash
* Keep all skincare needs in one place: Organize all your skincare products in one place, this organization will help you way much better than anything. Make use of your "me time" and devote it properly to pamper yourself.
* Streaming your routine: Make a proper timetable, for your week how many days you are going to deep cleanse your skin in a week.
If we talk about the baby skincare routine this is important too. As the baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment -- pollution, high temperature etc. Don't worry there are some simple and easy enough tips. Here, what you should know, with regards to bath, diapering, selecting items and that's just the beginning.
* Bath time: Babies need two to three baths a week in warm, not hot water to stay clean. The initial step to an extraordinary child shower is to track down the ideal temperature. Tip: Fill the bath without any more than 2 to 3 creeps of water. To keep your child from getting cold while you wash them, routinely pour cupfuls of water over their shoulders.
* Diaper Basics: There are a lot of things you'll have to do for your little one when they're an infant, like changing your baby's diaper regularly, cleaning tenderly however completely each time with child wipes. Make the surface saturated yet dry simultaneously as well. There are countless myths around diaper rashes that it is caused because of the usage of diapers. But no, it is due to a lack of attention and knowledge about the correct time to change the diaper. Else it will get worse for your child.
* Awareness of Products: Always read the product label before purchasing products for your infant. It's ideal to avoid chemical and alcohol-based products. Use products that are made explicitly for infants.
The baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment -- pollution, high temperature etc. | Photo by Jill Sauve on Unsplash
Newborn babies are so delicate, requiring a lot of care and attention. A single mistake or slip of mind can make things worse. Keep your infant's skin saturated, as well, so consistently have a stockpile of moisturizers around. But excessive oil can cause cradle caps, and dryness can create painful scenarios. If your child is facing such issues you need to consult a certified dermatologist.
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: temperature,sensitive,babies, skincare,child,products